“La Poste group calls on Atos Origin and its contractor, RFIDEA, to conduct a study into the use of RFID for business mail services”

Paris, 11 December 2008

RFID - radio-frequency identification

Atos Origin, an international IT services company, and its partner RFIDEA, a specialist in RFID integration, have conducted a study for La Poste Group, France's postal service, on the potential gains to be achieved by using RFID technology for business mail services. Atos Origin installed a pilot to track the movements and contents of business mail containers at a customer site as well as at three La Poste Group sites. The pilot enabled La Poste to set up and design processes and models as well as review and select RFID devices to implement. The results showed that using RFID can deliver returns on investment.

In 2007, France's postal service, La Poste, routed and delivered over 95 million letters / parcels each day. With business customers generating 82% of La Poste's turnover, the volume of direct mail has become significant. In line with the goals of its Cap Qualité Courrier modernization programme, the challenge facing La Poste with this RFID project was to enhance its competitiveness and performance in terms of its delivery service while reducing the number of direct mail containers in use and more effectively tracking the distribution of its customers' marketing campaigns.

Atos Origin and RFIDEA deployed the RFID solution at a client site as well as at three La Poste group sites to monitor data and upload to the central system.. This helps to optimize the flow of 200,000 direct mail containers with a capacity of 1 cu.m through "just in time" management that ensures service continuity for the Group's business customers and updates the Group's IT systems with the information in real-time.

The WEB software solution for the tracking dashboards was developed by Atos Origin using IBM's WebSphere RFID Premises Server software. For analysis and installation of the physical data capture infrastructure, Atos Origin turned to its technological partner, RFIDEA. Specifically, the mail containers were fitted with RFID tags associated with a tracking sheet for the container's contents. Once a container was filled, its location was tracked in real time via gantries equipped with RFID readers at cross-docks and with the use of mobile devices in storage areas.

Thanks to this full-scale pilot deployment of the Container Flow Monitoring System from the customer chain to the incoming business mail services platform, La Poste Group was able to assess the reliability of an RFID system, its impact on operations and its potential value as a component of the business mail services system.

Alain Roset, La Poste CIO for Production Mail and Major Programmes says, "The deployment by Atos Origin has already proven its effectiveness, in terms of both our timeframe and budget. Now, La Poste Group has all the information it needs regarding operating feasibility and ROI, with a view towards potential deployment of this traceability technology on a larger scale."

"For any extensive use of RFID, it's essential to have a future-proof RFID infrastructure", notes François Gruau, Business Development & Innovation Director at Atos Origin. "For this purpose, we worked in conjunction with the teams at IBM to install their WebSphere RFID Premises Server solution because of its flexibility and reliability. The IBM platform gave us a foundation on which to develop, deploy (in a short amount of time) and manage these new applications. This solution provides a strategic infrastructure for managing systems, networks, data and processes so as to deliver information in real time."

According to David Dalla Vecchia, General Manager, RFIDEA, "This project offers a perfect example of how success can be achieved. A precise analysis of each element in the acquisition chain, incorporating customer objectives as well as the production environment, is undoubtedly a key factor. Proper coordination and communication among the various participants in the project is equally important."

About La Poste: www.laposte.fr

About the Cap Qualité Courrier programme:
The Cap Qualité Courrier (Postal Quality Initiative) is ushering in a truly revolutionary phase in the history of the French postal service. La Poste is investing €3.4 billion in this large-scale modernization programme, with the aim of making the company Europe's leading postal system by 2012 for all forms of mail delivery and ensuring that it fully meets its obligation of universal service.

Print press contact: Virginie Gueidier - +33 (0) - virginie.gueidier@laposte.fr

About Atos Origin:
Atos Origin is one of the world's leading providers of IT services. Its role is to translate the strategic vision of its customers into results through enhanced use of consulting solutions, systems integration and outsourcing. Atos Origin generates annual sales of 5.8 billion euros and employs 50,000 people in 40 countries. Atos Origin is the worldwide IT partner to the Olympic Games, and its customers include major international accounts in every business sector. tos Origin is listed on Eurolist Paris and operates under the names of Atos Origin, Atos Worldline and Atos Consulting.

Press contact: Anne de Beaumont - + 33 (0)1 55 91 24 15 - anne.debeaumont@atosorigin.com

RFIDEA is an integrator specializing in consulting, design and implementation for RFID solutions. Based in Belgium and soon in Greater Paris, the company has quickly established itself as a European leader, thanks to the quality of its approach and its effectiveness at implementing RFID projects. RFIDEA is strongly positioned in the logistics and "reusable asset" sectors, broadly defined, as well as in the pharmaceutical industry and in event applications. In particular, the company has won the confidence of organizations and multinational groups including NATO, GS1, FM Logistic, Benedicta, Baxter, GlaxoSmithKline and ArcelorMittal. RFIDEA also provides secure ticketing and ticket management solutions for the various Formula 1 Grand Prix events. RFIDEA was Europe's first integrator specializing exclusively in RFID integration to obtain ISO 9001:2000 certification.

Contact: David Dalla Vecchia, General Manager, +32 (0)4/364.26.20, ope@rfidea.com